This year, the prestigious WAF has been taking place at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, a suitably international venue for this annual gathering of architectural notables from across the globe. With a packed programme of talks, book signings and more, ‘crits’ have been happening at a rapid rate across the first two days.
In a return to something like their university days, architects from around the world have been presenting their projects to juries, who then respond with questions. The prizes are split up into numerous categories under the main sub-sections of Completed Buildings and Future Buildings, as well as Inside, a separate set of awards for interiors. Within these sub-sections, prizes cover a range of themes including hotels, culture, offices, masterplanning, infrastructure and housing.
As day one of WAF 2023 drew to a close, the initial winners were announced. They included recognition for several Australian and Asia Pacific studios who have featured prominently in the pages of
Other winners included Chen-Yu Chiu and the team of Studio Cho in Turkey for the Reyhanli Centre for World Citizens in Taiwan and PAVA Architects in Thailand for its Kaomai Museums and Tea Barn project, with other notable prizes for MAD Architects, Nextoffice and Studio of Architectural Research & Design.
The judges of this year’s Completed Buildings categories praised the high quality of this year’s projects, emphasising in particular the level of local community enablement and client collaboration.
Judges felt that these exemplar projects sensitively referenced history of sites and retained vernacular cues whilst giving thought for future development. Many winning projects considered the meaning of ‘waste’ through the use of found local materials, innovative recycled construction systems and even the transformation of ‘wasted’ time.
The second day of WAF continued with more cries, presentations and prize winners. Things got even better for the Australian representatives, with projects from there gaining no less than six category wins as well as some commendations.
In the completed buildings section,
In the future projects space,
Across the Inside category winners, judges highlighted the exemplar qualities of projects for creating ‘magic experiences’ and ‘using local material in a poetic way’. Judges felt that each winning studio had immaculate responses that fulfilled the client’s brief while ensuring consideration of the wider impact on society and the environment.
In terms of completed buildings, the judges emphasised the considered and beautiful articulation of this year’s projects having been particularly impressed with the timeless quality, spatial composition and technical resolutions. Judges felt that many of the winning projects were city-changing with thoughtful responses to historical elements including preservation of found architecture, retrofitting and change of use.
World Architecture Festival